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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Foo Fighters stay at Boston Calling: emotional and gritty return

‘Fingers Crossed for the New Man’, reads the entrance of drummer Josh Freese’s cut-off T, as the latest iteration of the Foo Fighters takes to the stage on the buzzy Boston Calling— the musical centrepiece of town’s Memorial vacation weekend. There was by no means any doubt that the band would rise to the event. These seasoned music professionals have honed their craft to one thing nearing, if not perfection, definitely supremacy of their subject. There was additionally by no means any doubt that Freese, an achieved session drummer for the likes of Weapons N’ Roses, 9 Inch Nails, Weezer, and Paramore, would be capable to carry the Foo’s wealthy again catalogue on his drum skins. There was, nevertheless, a distinct form of uncertainty within the air tonight.

As the gang justles underneath the blazing sundown carrying merch from their favorite band, the sense of anticipation that preludes any Foo Fighters gig is tinged with further expectation. There’s an acknowledgement of a specific absence and overarching unhappiness that not often comes earlier than a bombastic Foos headline set. Final 12 months’s passing of drummer Taylor Hawkins was at all times certain to hold heavy over the proceedings, the query being how this veteran band, led by Dave Grohl, a person who has misplaced a couple of shut good friend far too early, was going to navigate the tragedy.

Freese takes on the function of primary curio confidently, establishing himself all through the set. Following the assured opening of ‘Rescued’, the opening observe from imminent album ‘However Right here We Are’, he thrashes round his equipment on ‘Stroll’, the nearer of 2011’s low-key ‘Losing Gentle’, eschewing any doubt of his talents, if there have been any. It is just one a part of a really drum-heavy set, the place it’s fairly clear the band are utilizing this as a possibility to showcase their new percussion part, and reassure everybody, perhaps even themselves, that it’s okay to hold on.

Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters CREDIT: Alive Protection / Boston Calling

It’s exhausting to not learn into Grohl’s each gesture and motion. Nonetheless, for probably the most half, he’s right here to do what he at all times does— personal the asses of the gang in entrance of him, as they hold on each shredded word that emerges from his mouth, someplace beneath a cascade of shoulder-length, sweat-drenched hair. Any spirit, pleasure de vivre, or vitality one may have forgiven Grohl for dropping within the final 12 months he double downs on now, as he leans into his feelings and delivers a efficiency of depth and grit. The gang explodes on the first signal of ‘Study to Fly’, however ‘Occasions Like These’ is the primary observe to hit significantly exhausting as Grohl opens the track unaccompanied. Songs, as he observes all through the present, tackle new that means as time goes on, beginning out as one factor and turning into one thing else, and the phrases, “It’s occasions like these you be taught to like once more”, pack a higher emotional punch than ever earlier than.

There’s a noticeable lack of viewers interplay for the primary 5 songs because the band rattles by way of the early a part of their set, giving newcomer Freese house to showcase his abilities, but additionally house for Grohl and his bandmates to regular themselves in entrance of solely the third viewers they’ve performed to for the reason that dying of Hawkins. However then good ol’ Dave involves the fore. “I do know it’s embarrassing to listen to your mother and father sing a track. Powerful shit”, he says because the viewers screams ‘Breakout’s chorus again at him. There’s additionally a self-consciousness beaming from the band, as in the event that they’re asking followers “Is that this okay?’” and it feels unusual and emotional when Grohl goes to face the equipment and another person is sitting there. However when somebody new takes a seat on the drums, Hawkin’s son Shane, he’s met with a wave of affection and rapturous applause from the captivated crowd. After he takes on ‘I’ll Stick Round’, Grohl remarks, “That’s what it felt like 27 years in the past” making the gang marvel if maybe there’ll be one other full-time Hawkins behind the Foo’s equipment sooner or later. The night time continues to be a household affair, with Grohl’s daughter becoming a member of her dad on vocal duties for ‘Rope’ and the underrated ‘Disgrace Disgrace’.

However tonight is concerning the latest member of the Foo’s household. As soon as they’d settled into their basic line-up, Dave and Taylor have been clear talismen of the group. It was at all times going to be unsettling for everybody to witness a brand new face behind the equipment given the circumstances, however Freese provides an achieved tightness and thrust to the band’s sound, giving tracks like ‘Better of You’, for instance, an indignant urgency it hasn’t had in years.

To say the Foo Fighters are reinvigorated could be to recommend that they have been in some way on the wane earlier than, however the brand new dimension and momentum Freese provides to their sound lends them a slickness and weight that may certainly see them remaining a rock’n’roll mainstay. “It takes loads for each single one in all us on this aspect of the stage to be right here, and we wouldn’t be right here if it weren’t for all of you,” says Grohl, introducing trusted finale ‘Everlong’. “For years, we at all times play this track as an alternative of claiming goodbye as a result of I hope we by no means do.” No want for an encore, then — the Foos have solely simply began their subsequent act.

Foo Fighters performed:

‘No Son of Mine’
‘Study to Fly’
‘This Is a Name’
‘Occasions Like These’
‘Below You’
‘The Pretender’
‘The Sky Is a Neighborhood’
‘My Hero’
‘All My Life’
‘Disgrace Disgrace’ (with Violet Grohl)
‘Rope’ (with Violet Grohl)
‘Chilly Day within the Solar'(Dave Grohl solo)
‘I’ll Stick Round'(with Shane Hawkins)
‘Better of You’
‘Monkey Wrench’

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